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SW MI First: 2016 a Great Year for Business

Thursday, March 23, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Oesterle
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KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) -- Southwest Michigan First says 2016 was a strong year for business in the Kalamazoo metropolitan area.

Chief Executive Officer Ron Kitchens said the area saw its greatest industry growth in manufacturing and hospitality.

"The Kalamazoo-Portage (metropolitan statistical area), which is really Kalamazoo, Portage and Mattawan, gained 13,000 new jobs," Kitchens said. "Those are people on payroll. Those are families."

And other portions of the region erased losses from the one-state recession in the 2000s.

"Every sub-area, including Battle Creek and Benton Harbor, all gained back the jobs they lost," Kitchens said.

Unemployment numbers are rising, but not because of layoffs. Kitchens said disenfranchised workers are rejoining the workforce.


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